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Rainbow: From Sky into Tree

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By Bhushan Parimoo

It is a perfect story, often quoted, Baachaa Baagal Maaen Dooundeey Saareey Sehaar, (Child is in the arms searching him in the whole city).It went far beyond city with this writer better say search around the globe

Way back in 2010 on the social site of the Environment Awareness Forum a few flowering trees with many shades of hue and colours on road avenues drew attention. Quite a breath taking affair never saw such rich blooming trees in the state.

 

Adorable gift of nature beyond words called Lapacho locally a native tree in the South of Latin America. This name believed to be of Gaurani origin, meaning fragrant, a tribe of Paraguay bloom with flowers of various hues and colours like. It’s blossoms have a mild sweet honey smell, Elsewhere it is called jacaranda the word was described in A supplement to Chambers’s Cyclopædia, 1st ed., (1753) as “a name given by some authors to the tree the wood of which is the log-wood, used in dyeing and in medicine”.

Has not one but five different colours Blue, Yellow, two species, white pale purple and pink,. As such desired as anyone would like to why not to have it in our state. Pictures got deep imbedded since May 22, 2012 in the mind induces to have it here too after procuring the details from Asmuch Paraguay. Quite obliviously approached those who matter right from Forest Department and other sources after found its compatible with the soil and climate of the state .

Efforts drew blank due to lackadaisical approach of the authorities and society in general. Years passed by as it was both in the mind and heart but on single track made not to lose hope .And a silver lining appeared in the horizon of the hope against thick black clouds of insensitiveness of the authorities With a few years back Suresh Gupta, IFS, the Director JK Forest Research Institute and drew his attention to introduce it.. Before he could proceed baton was passed to B.M.Sharma IFS another son of the soil assured to have it examined.

His dedicated team conducted trials in the Sidhra Nursery under Rakesh Abrol then DFO in charge, with team spirits bore the fruit. Its seed needs hot summer to break its shell for seed to come out which requires proper treatment and immense patient, which team rendered without any fuss. Meanwhile coincidentally learnt, it is called Neel Mohar / Neelee Phulle here, blue jacaranda .

It is like Gulmohar known as Royal Poinciana or the peacock flower tree is a fast growing moderate size deciduous tree species native to Madagascar. Word Neelee Phulle helped to reveal that a couple of trees do exists on the right bank of Rambhir canal in Jammu city. Most probably planted by Late Kailash Nath Kaul, maternal Uncle of Smt Indra Gandhi, husband of Late Smt Sheela Kaul, a great Botanist, during his tenure as Director for Gardens, Parks and Floriculture in the state in 1969.

Why its propagation since 1969 was not carried, although we conduct regular Tree Talks on government expense involving corers, and vanish has become an enigma .May be all the activities Forest environment and Ecology carry awareness activities in the indoor environ,. Grateful to Señora Rosalia Orrego an upright well-read informative friend Human Activist belongs to the Gaurani Tribe of Paraguay the country rebuilt by women .Who exposed Environment Awareness associates from this subcontinent to South America, Which to most of us has been an incurious affair.

Devoid of any green pastures for the migrants to strike Dollars. Besides whole continent speak Spanish and Portuguese, English knowing are a few in between, here lies the impeder. Gutam Parimoo, Nephew has settled in Chile/Peru there for many years now but busy all the time in his own world. Jarcanda is as fascinating and alluring as the Hemisphere of the South America.

South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas, which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. has very rich biodiversity, Amazon the longest river flows through it ,has richer rainforest on this planet , Vast and varied Geology history like Himalaya, Alps it has Andes, Atacama desert , Rich Heritage , Astronomy and Maya Civilisation .and many tales of Spanish suppression and struggle. South America has the second highest mountain range in the world, the driest desert on earth and the world’s biggest rainforest. It goes without saying, then, that it’s home to some astonishing geographical and climatological records.

Highest point: Aconcagua, Argentina At 22,841 ft above sea level, Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. Lowest point: Laguna del Carbon, Argentina Far less dramatic or picturesque than Aconcagua, the Laguna Del Carbon is nevertheless a record breaker: it’s 344 ft below sea level! Driest place: Atacama Desert, Chile The Atacama Desert is the driest place on the planet and although average annual precipitation is 0,6 inches per year, some Atacama weather stations have never recorded rain.

Evidence suggests that the Atacama may have received no significant rainfall for over 400 years between 1570 and 1971! The Atacama is so dry because it’s in a ‘double rain shadow’ – the Chilean Coastal Range to the West and the Andes to the East prevent just about all moisture from reaching this part of the world. Wettest place: Tutunendo, Colombia According to who you believe Tutunendo is the first, second or third wettest place in the world. Unfortunately meteorological records in both Colombia and India (the other country with towns which lay claim to this title) aren’t that great.

An unverified source claims that Tutunendo received a staggering 1,036.34” of rainfall in 1974 and its average annual precipitation is around 448.58”. Lapacho a deciduous tree named after the tree – Jacaranda Genus of 49 species of flowering in the family Bignoniace native to tropical and subtropical regions. The species are Shrubs to lager tree ranging in size from 20 to 30 m (66 to 98 ft) tall. The leaves are pinnate in most species, pinnate or simple in a few species.

The flowers are produced in conspicuous large panicles, each flower with a five-lobed blue to purple-blue corolla, pink, yellow; a few species have white flowers. The fruit is an oblong to oval flattened capsule containing numerous slender seeds. The genus differs from other genera in the Bignoniaceae in having a staminode that is longer than the stamens, tricolpate pollen and a chromosome number of 18. The genus is divided into two sections, sect. Monolobos and sect. Dilobos DC., based on the number of thecae on the anthers. Sect. Jacaranda has 18 species and is found primarily in western South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Sect. Dilobos, which is believed to be the primitive form, has 31 species and is found primarily in south eastern Brazil including the Paraná River valley. The anatomy of the wood in the two sections also differs. Although usually treated in sect. Jacaranda, J. Copaia differs somewhat from all other members of the genus, and may be intermediate between the two sections (Dos Santos & Miller 1997).

Thrive in tropical and warm temperate climates, but they can be grown in cooler areas which get light frosts, but they usually dont flower as well in these cooler zones, and they are also slower-growing, and smaller there. Like a sunny position and well-drained, fertile soil, plus regular summer watering. Mulching around the roots with organic material (e.g., compost, straw, bark, etc.) will help to retain soil moisture in summer, but only apply the mulch over moist ground, not over dry ground, otherwise the mulch might prevent rain reaching the soil. A thickness of no more than 50mm of mulch is recommended.

There are several conditions that require the lapachos to grow and flourish to the fullest, and are different according to their ability to adapt to the light, shadow and the various components of the environment. For example, soil, slope, topography and incidence of sunlight. It prefers warm temperatures and plant is very susceptible to frost. Young trees, even at a temperature of -3 ° C can die, but older tolerated lower temperatures, such as a snap to -8-10 ° C.

The plant likes a sunny location, well-drained sandy soils and is sensitive to strong winds. However tolerate drought well, although love often watering. Jacaranda is naturally propagated can also be propagated from grafting, cuttings and seeds, though plants grown from seeds take a long time to bloom seeds and cuttings grown from cuttings or that were grafted to seedling rootstock take from two to three years to bloom. Settle in for a longer wait, from seven to 14 years, if you started your jacaranda from seed.

A mature tree can reach a height of ten meters. The trunk of Jacaranda is covered with gray-brown bark that in young plants is smooth and later become scaly. Branches have zig zag shape and reddish-brown hue. Jacaranda leaves are large with a length of 45 cm and consist of multiple pinnate small leaves. The flowers of the Jacaranda form clusters that make the top young and flexible branches and hang under their weight. Sometimes the number of flowers in a cluster reaches ninety.

Are elongated, slightly curved and shaped somewhat resemble the colours of the Digitalis purpura. Usually flowering begins in late spring – early summer and lasts about two months. After flowering they form flat pods with the original form in which grow many seeds – feathers. When ripe, the pods become hard like wood The Guaranis and other indigenous groups of the region used wood to make utensils and various elements. In fact, in Brazil the tree is called Pau d’Arco, i.e. bow stick, because with its wood manufactured arrows.

In addition, the Indians took it infusion for treating various diseases such as malaria, anaemia, colitis, problems breathing, colds, cough, flu, fever, arthritis and rheumatism. Director Social Forestry Sh Suresh Gupta IFS and his team has assured to provide a pronounced thrust of this plant wherever feasible, hope other may follow the suit .Let us believe hoping against the hope.
(The author is a Jammu based environmentalist)


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Opinion

Brazen statements on job shortage

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Mihir Swarup Sharma

Back when Narendra Modi was just a candidate for the post of Prime Minister, he seemed to understand what India’s biggest problem was: jobs. He promised tens of millions of jobs would be created if he were voted to power – India’s unemployed young people would be transformed, he promised, into an army for development.

Four years later, this promise has turned into a weapon for the opposition. His predecessor, Manmohan Singh, pointed out last year that young Indians were “desperately waiting for the jobs that they were promised.”

 

The Modi government’s response has been typical: not harder work, not economic reform, but bluster. Two recent statements from senior ministers who should know better stand out. Piyush Goyal said that the large number of people who are lining up for jobs in the Railways that he oversees – over 15 million applied recently for a minuscule number of vacancies – did not in any way mean that there is a shortage of jobs in India. And Human Resources Minister Prakash Javadekar, whose job is indeed to prepare the Indian workforce for employment, has insisted that each and every sector in India has witnessed job opportunities. “We have to find out why people with post-graduate degrees apply for sweeper jobs in the government,” he said.

Well, minister, the answer is staring us all in the face: that there simply aren’t enough high-quality jobs available. Yes, even low-skilled government jobs provide security; but in a growing economy, the private sector should also be creating enough and better-paid jobs in such a way that security would be rendered irrelevant.

The fact is that when millions of Indians turn up for jobs that they are manifestly overqualified for, it cannot be seen as anything other than a failure of economic management on a massive scale.

There was not even the slightest remorse expressed by the ministers for whatever combination of circumstances may have arisen in the economy to cause this sort of desperation on the part of job-seekers. Nor was there an iota of compassion for these young job-seekers or a comprehension of the lack of choices they face.

Mr Javadekar even said that “people who do not work out of choice cannot be called unemployed”. Is it possible that Modi Sarkar imagines that everyone without employment prefers to watch things on their Jio phone rather than earn a living? It is impossible to overstate how out of touch that sentiment is. Even in the best case scenario, which is that the minister was referring only to the worrying decrease in the labour participation rate of women – fewer women in India are working, while in the test of the world more women worked as development progressed – it still reveals an inability to understand the real problems faced by job-seekers. If women are not going out to work, it is not out of “choice”. It is because neither law and order nor their social relations in their community have allowed them to do so. Is this not something a government should be concerned about – if, that is, it values half of India? Or should it just dismiss the crushing of womens’ aspirations as “their choice”?

The ministers complained that there was not enough data to prove that jobs were not being created. This seems to undercut various other claims made by government apologists that jobs are indeed being created – on the basis of the pension records kept by the provident funds, for example. Many economists have poked clear holes in this theory. At best, that reveals that under pressure from demonetization and the GST, some jobs are coming into the formal sector – but it does not reveal whether or not jobs are being created overall. While it is amusing to discover that not even the Modi government ministers believe its own propagandists, the politicians’ statements are still important. Their complaint about the lack of official data is shared by many.

Yet data is scarce, of course, for a very specific reason: the survey of unemployment in the country, conducted by the Labour Bureau every year from 2010 to 2016, was discontinued by the Union Labour Ministry – in a strange coincidence, the Survey showed sharp job losses after the National Democratic Alliance government came to power in 2014. So when the ministers – and earlier the Prime Minister himself – complain that there is no data on employment, what they should instead explain is why the government chose to stop collecting data on employment.

The reason, of course, is that this government does not want the release of any data that would reveal the true state of the economy. The manipulation of the backseries of GDP data revealed exactly how desperate it is to whitewash its unusually poor record.

The Modi government seems to believe that voters are comically stupid. That they will not only believe that jobs are being created, but also that mobs of people applying for a few government jobs is a sign of how many other jobs there are. That they will also believe that a lack of data that the government has itself organised can be replaced by earnest assurances from the Prime Minister and his Cabinet that large numbers of jobs have indeed been created.

The most reliable independent source for jobs data are the reports from the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy, or CMIE. Their latest report, issued earlier this month, indicated that 11 million jobs had been lost in 2018. Think about that – 11 million jobs were lost, not created. This comes at a time when most economists believe that we need to create between 6 and 12 million jobs a year just to keep pace with the number of people entering the job market. Nor were previous years better – demonetization in particular wreaked havoc, costing millions of jobs.

There is little doubt, therefore, that Modi has failed to keep the promises that he made before being elected. The question is whether he will be held accountable for those promises. Perhaps if the Prime Minister or his colleagues had been open about their failures and accepted that they understood where they had gone wrong and how more jobs could be created going forward, they might have been able to retain some credibility. Instead, they have chosen to deny that a problem even exists and to pretend instead that the promises have been fulfilled. This is brazen even by the standards of Indian politics.

There are good reasons for greater urgency. India’s window to create high-quality manufacturing jobs – the sort that helped countries like China move up the income ladder – is closing. More and more processes are being automated, and the scope for mass manufacturing that takes in lower-skilled workers and gives them solid secure employment is narrowing. But the World Bank has insisted in a recent report that there is still enough time. Given its vast numbers of young people, it is India that should be benefiting from these last decades in which manufacturing will matter. But instead the government has failed to undertake genuine economic reform, relying instead on adulatory press handouts and ministerial statements – managing the headlines and not the economy, as Arun Shourie put it. India’s young people, lining up in their lakhs in the hope even of a job as a government sweeper, deserve better than this callous indifference to their fate.

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Opinion

Is Rahul Gandhi emerging as a reliable brand?

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Shuchi Bansal

The Congress’s recent victories in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have put the spotlight on its president Rahul Gandhi.

While an earlier column spoke of brand Modi and whether he has lost some of its sheen, little has been said on Rahul Gandhi and if he, as a brand, has come of age. Or whether, despite his party’s recent wins, it is too early to think of him as a dependable brand.

 

Interestingly, the resurgence of the Congress and that of Rahul Gandhi in particular seems to represent an almost textbook example of a challenger brand.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) unexpected poor performance is also perhaps a classic case of what a market leader should avoid—complacence, overconfidence and petty-mindedness being on top of the list.

“While it’s true that Rahul Gandhi has a long way to go before he can match the perceived stature and the personal popularity of Narendra Modi, he has certainly been able to narrow the gap between them. I would say this is an outcome of some of his bold initiatives helped to a great extent by the missteps of the latter,” says Samit Sinha, managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting.

Dheeraj Sinha, managing director (India) and chief strategy officer (Asia) at Leo Burnett, agreed that Rahul Gandhi has emerged as a viable challenger with the recent wins in the Assembly elections.

However, he argues that challengers don’t win the game in India, leaders do. “Will Rahul be able to position himself as a viable leader of the country is the question. Just being a challenger won’t make it happen for the Congress,” he says.

Advertising veteran Sandeep Goyal who has done his doctorate in human brands, says that a challenger brand is defined by a mindset. It has ambitions larger than its conventional pool of resources and is prepared to do something bold. The most common narrative associated with the challenger brand is that of the underdog.

However, challenger brands are today more often focused on “what” they are challenging rather than “who” they are challenging.

“Rahul Gandhi is, therefore, by definition, truly a challenger brand. The important thing that everyone seems to be missing out on is that he is cleverly not really challenging Mr Modi but challenging incumbency, unfulfilled promises, growth agenda, and the performance of the current government, ‘mistakes’ like demonetization and GST (goods and service tax). In politics, these are really the ‘category drivers’. Rahul is also focusing on disenchantment/ unhappiness with jobs/economy, which is really challenging the ‘user experience’ with the current government,” says Goyal.

Sinha feels that Rahul’s underdog image helps him. He began his political career as a fumbling novice, which earned him the Pappu sobriquet.

“It’s because not much was expected of him is why his stock goes up every time he exceeds expectations, even for accomplishments that are less than extraordinary. On the other hand, his rival suffers a huge disadvantage for having set unrealistically high expectations, and whatever be his achievements, they are bound to fall short of the promise. This has no doubt negatively impacted both his credibility as well as popularity, which has helped Rahul Gandhi seize the narrative. When one starts at the bottom, the only way is up. The converse is equally true,” points out Sinha.

Brand Rahul seems to be gaining some traction. “His speeches have improved both in form and content. He is more consistent, more combative.

The hesitant, reluctant brand Rahul of yore is slowly but surely transforming into an astute leader who has pedigree and lineage,” feels Goyal.

Of course, none of this guarantees a defeat for the BJP, or a victory for the Congress, in this year’s general elections. Goyal says that as of now, brand Modi is stronger and better resourced, but beginning to fray at the edges.

Also, a bit hurt, if not bruised. In 2014, brand Modi epitomized “hope” and “progress.”

“In 2019, he cannot stand for Hindutva or Ram Temple or The Cow. That would be a big mistake. In 2014, brand Rahul was untested and nascent. In 2019, he is portraying himself as progressive, secular, empathetic and pedigreed… Both brands have their own appeal,” he says.

As Leo Burnett’s Sinha says, leadership brands need to appeal to the whole market.

Will brand Rahul be able to cover this distance from being a challenger brand to the leader brand in the next few months remains to be seen.

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Opinion

Your waste: someone’s taste

The Kashmir Monitor

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By Zeeshan Rasool Khan,

While we every other day listen to boastful claims that the country India is developing fast. It has become very difficult for most of us to accept the brute reality that here the people die because of hunger. Yes, death due to starvation is the unthinkable, reality of India. According to sources, about 14.9% of the Indian population is undernourished. Half of the world’s hungry live in India. Thousands are those who do not know if the next meal would be availed or not. Reports say, everyday 20 crore people have to hit the sack with an empty tummy. In the year 2018, many cases of hunger-death were reported in India. This bitter truth is being cloaked with bragging. Global Hunger Index 2018, which has placed India at a 103rd place out of 119 qualifying countries, is a testimony to this fact that India is not what media shows i.e., all is not well within the nation with respect to common masses. Howbeit, it is not any matter of berating the nation. There is no question of cutting anyone to size in connection with this issue. Instead, it demands serious contemplation from everyone irrespective of our positions in society.

One of the root causes of hunger is poverty that has been challenging to every developing country and India is no exception. Despite the reports of GHI, which says, the poverty level has reduced by 0.9 % since 2011 we must accept that our efforts have been too meagre to achieve any feat in this direction. Let us accept we have failed in defeating poverty. But, that does not mean we will rest on our laurels and let poverty-stricken die. If we cannot eradicate the gigantic issue of poverty but we have immense potential to secure poor. If we cannot build palaces for indigents, however, we can provide them shelter to hide at least. If we cannot raise their standard of living but there is no doubt that, we can mitigate their problems. Likewise, if we cannot provide them with sumptuous food, at least we can make sure that they will not sleep hungry, die due to hunger and starvation.

 

There is no dearth of food. Credible reports suggest that India produces sufficient food to feed its population. However, access to the available food is lacking. And this inaccessibility is partly due to low income of people and mostly due to our behaviour of wasting food. It has been estimated that nearly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption is wasted every year. This wastage starts from processing continues up to packing, supply management, and consumption.Due to imperfect packaging methods and inefficient supplying system, a considerable amount of food is lost. According to one estimate, about 40 percent of fruits and vegetables and 30 percent of cereals are wasted and do not reach the consumers because of improper packaging and supplying techniques. Prevalent ways of processing and subsequent supplying of paddy and other grains result into wastage of a part of it. Common Fruit growers know it better, while packaging, what quantity of fruits is wasted. Fully ripened fruit is often discarded as ‘rotten’ because of apprehensions about its transportation. Same is the case with vegetables and other foodstuffs.

These squandered grains, discarded fruit and vegetables make a large part of wasted food. Imagine if these grains, ripe fruit, and vegetable reach any poor, how great it would be. At the consumption stage, significant levels of food wastage occur. The gluttony, most people are indulged in is itself a form of wastage. Some people eat like a horse without thinking about health risks that overeating leads to. They keep on inviting ailments rather than getting any benefit but never cogitate, how by exercising moderation in eating we can help others. The excessive food that we take can easily become a morsel for a destitute.

Our weddings, events, restaurants, hostels, and houses are a major source of food wastage. At weddings, a huge amount of food is wasted. A large amount of food including multiple dishes are served, which results in leftovers that finally finds a place in trash bins. It would have been far better to have control mechanism at our weddings for prevention of food-wastage. However, even in absence of a mechanism, we can play a significant role in reducing wastage of food by best use of leftovers. Leftovers from weddings and even from our homes, restaurants, hostels, and hotels are often thrown away. But there is an option for us to make better use of it. We can recycle leftovers. We can make many other dishes from it, which can be used for the next meal. Massimo Botturra of Italy – the world’s best chef has come up with this innovative idea. He has founded the association namely ‘Food for Soul’ with the motive to fight food waste. He uses surplus food /leftovers productively to tackle food wastage and nourish poorest people of the city. Most of Hoteliers and restaurateur, across the world particularly India, have followed suit that is a good sign. Others, who are not aware of this idea, should imitate the same .So that more and more necessitous are benefited. In fact, using leftovers to feed the poor living in our vicinity would be one of the finest uses of leftovers. By this way the uneaten edibles from our homes, restaurants, etc. can fill the bellies of many and eliminate their hunger.

Efforts are on throughout India and fortunately, in our state too, to reach out the hunger struck population. No doubt, some NGO’s are working to utilize extra cooked food and give it to needier. But, the challenge is big and efforts are small. Broad-gauge efforts are required that must be started from the individual level. While processing, packaging, supplying, and consuming, utmost care needs to be taken to check the frittering. Through this mindfulness, we can preserve lot of food and can make it available to the poor. In addition, if everyone would refrain from wasting food and take care of penurious people of respective communities, we can ensure food availability for a maximum number of deprived people.

It is worth to mention, feeding hungry cannot obliterate hunger as it is related to several problems. However, we cannot deny the fact that hunger itself is the root of various other troubles. Hunger deprives a person from growth. It increases the vulnerability of a person to a myriad of complications, which can have an adverse impact on social, behavioural, emotional, and physical health of a person. Satisfying one’s hunger can make him eligible to earn livelihood otherwise his destiny is elimination. So, we must think logically to gain the best of both worlds.

(The writer can be reached at: [email protected])

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